May 13, 2010

Party Planning

Y'all know, I'm a planner (technically an over-planner) and that I love projects. I probably spent two-three times more time planning my wedding than the average bridezilla. I love planning parties like that - decor, creative foods, coordinating everything. I'm a total geek.

As we began to near Jane's first birthday (yeah, for me, "near" meant 4 months in advance), I started researching ideas and thinking about planning her birthday party. It was then that I realized that I will get to do this every year! Every year I get to think of themes (or, when Jane's old enough, she'll pick the theme) and go all out with creativity and nonsense! This is awesome! And, in three or four years, I'll get to do it twice a year (assuming we have another baby sometime). YIPEE!

Some people (maybe most) are not into it. I get it. However, I have a little Martha Stewart in me (I wish that little bit was also just a little bit loaded rich like her too). I've already showed you pictures of the "cake" I plan to do for Janers. I also designed my own photo invites as well (combining my party planning geek with my computer geek). Part of the fun of planning for me is that, if you're good (and start early), you can save a ton of money! I started the whole bday planning process because I came across a huge sale at the grocery store on Disney Princess Party supplies (plates, cups, streamers, etc.) a few months back. Then, Easter hit and, just like last year with my baby shower, I waited until post-bunny to pick up a bunch of pink and pastel-coloured candy (M&Ms, etc.) that will perfectly coordinate with my Princess theme. Will anyone notice? Who cares! I will, and that's all that matters! It's like when you lose 5 lbs - does anyone else notice? Probably not. But you know and you walk taller and feel like a million bucks because of it. This is exactly how I feel about coordinated decor (I know, I'm SOOOOO cool). ha ha ha. Perhaps, I have a little more "Monica" (Friend's reference) in me than just the whole anal-cleaning thing.
My biggest challenge so far is who to invite? I was thinking just my family, a few close friends and that's it. It's hard - because it's a "party", I'd like to invite all our friends (with kids or not) just to hang out but I don't want to invite them and have them bring gifts. Not that I assume they would... but you know what I mean! Obviously, my family would bring gifts and we'd have Jane open them. So, I don't want two things to happen (1) people to feel like they should bring a gift or (2) people to not bring a gift and feel like an idiot when she's opening her gifts. Maybe I'll just write an extra note in those people's invites and say just that... don't bring a gift, don't feel stupid, just come if you want! :p ha ha ha.
The other thing I'm curious about is the "birthday dress"... I have the cutest birthday dress for Jane (will obviously post pictures once the day arrives). So, during the party she can wear that. BUT, during the cake eating time, there's no way in heck she's gonna wear the dress - if she already doesn't have it stained by that time I'll be in shock. So, I figure I'll just change her into the "Birthday Girl" T-shirt that I already got her and let her go mad.

As far as gifts for Jane, I'm trying to keep to a budget so I'm buying a lot of second-hand stuff. I'd rather get a bazillion second-hand things within my budget vs. getting only one brand new thing. I mean, she'll have it filthy rotten by the end of day anyways. So far, I've taken your advice and gotten a bunch of Fisher Price Little People sets. Any other suggestions? I want to get her things that she will enjoy now and in a few months. I feel like she's really bored of all her Christmas toys at this point.

Thanks for the tips in advance!

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Peter, Jill, and Parker said...

Parker's party is on June 5th too! We'll have a piece of cake here for Jane ;) as for his party we are keeping it simple. a backyard bbq, inviting our close friends and family, not going all out for decorations - some balloons, happy bday napkins and that is probably about it - the rest of it is just food and toys on the grass and let them have fun. besides at one years old our children do not understand the concept of decoration. I figure I have many a year to coordinate themes (if he wants it). Out west here we have a local grocery store chain that provides a free bday cake for kids turning one. Yippee! A nice perk and saves me from having to bake one. As for the gifts - its a hard one. For the majority of bday parties i have attended in the past i buy a gift for the little one. I don't go all out i usually keep it within a small budget. This year seems different a lot of bday parties we are attending parents have written 'no gifts please' or 'your presence is present enough' on the invites. I have to say even though I may feel like an 'idiot' if we don't bring a gift to these parties and someone else did, the pressure is off. Besides when money is tight for all of us and we are invited to attend multiple birthdays the cost adds up. besides its the time spent not the money spent that means more (at least in my books). I think making it optional for gift giving is the way to go. There are some people that will buy a gift no matter what you tell them. So to each their own. Love the photo invite by the way - well done :)

~*Cee*~ said...

The funny part about these First Birthday that every mom has the inclination to do the same thing!
I wanted all the things you described for E...but it didn't pan out. I'm not disappointed, though. We bought her a 'big girl' car seat...the convertible kind. We had my inlaws over for her birthday weekend...I made mini cupcakes and she got to eat one...we video taped it. She got a nice outfit and new handmade sweater set complete with hat, from my parents. It was very small...intimate. And you know what? She wouldn't have been able to handle much more that day! Nap time went as usual and everyone was gone before supper!
Next birthday I might be more involved...but for the first one, that they don't remember, it's more a celebration for the parents anyways...because we've survived the FIRST YEAR!! :)

Party Koozies said...

hello there
I bookmarked your post will read this latter